It was a fall of mass shootings, National Anthem protests, increasing worldwide persecution of Christians, sexual misconduct scandals, and of course our own personal life challenges. Where is God in all of this? How can we know Him, have faith in Him, and share our faith in Him unashamedly with others?
God directed our church into an entire fall devoted to these tough questions; wrestling through them together in our sermons and small groups. After a successful Ministry Summit focused on training leaders in apologetics, we launched the all-church sermon and small group series, The God Questions. We saw God grow our faith and our church, and our witness in the world.
And, now, it is time to recount and celebrate some of those ways!
Fall 2017 Testimonies
It is that time of year again when I get to share just a glimpse of what God is doing in and through our church and each unique small group. Below you will find some of the testimonies, goals, and celebrations reported from our groups this fall.
(Following those are important upcoming 2018 dates.)
Now, take a moment to read, praise God, and enjoy!
Stories and Praises from our Groups
“We had a great time at the corn maze!”
“We’ve had a few new ladies visit and join us who haven’t been involved in a small group. One said they feel like they’ve finally find a place they belong.”
“I am very thankful our exchange students have observed our small group (voluntarily). It makes me much more conscious of our conversations and how an outsider might view us. For that, I am thankful.”
Praise: “One couple got to spend extended time with a relative that has been on our prayer list for a long time. Although he still has not made a commitment to Jesus, he opened up about what was going on in his life, which is not his normal way.”
“We continue to be a helping and sharing group, coming to each other’s aid as needed. Examples have been: donating funds to help members in need, assisting with household tasks of others, helping find employment for family members, and provided transportation on short notice. We are a group of believers and friends who do not hesitate to ask for and offer support to others as needed. We mailed a care package of food and other items to a missionary family in mid-August.”
“Praise the Lord that we have new folks this semester. We are blessed that everyone is quickly comfortable with participating and sharing.”
“We had one group member who at the start of the first discussion, said he had a hard time answering someone who said ‘If everything was created, who created God?’ By the end of the night he had an ‘ah ha’ moment as we reviewed the discussion and went back to page 12 in the God Questions book and concluded that only someone bigger than the universe [an infinite God] could have created the finite universe. The diagram was essential as all the pieces were falling into place. We also had a lively discussion about the truth of the Bible and marveled at the reality about how much more evidence there was for the New Testament [24,000] to be true than Homer’s Iliad .”
“We have had great attendance this fall. Everyone has participated and been very open in discussions. Considering that we are new group and still trying to get to know everyone, this is huge. Plus, two members got engaged this last Sunday!”
The Grisham group completes their annual Habitat for Humanity group project!
“We prayed for a member to quit tobacco at Small Group and he has quit for months.”
“Praise that as a group over the past year, the ladies have grown together as a family while most of the men were gone. We’ve studied Financial Peace University over the summer and some have gotten out of debt, and/or increased their giving and being better stewards overall of finances. Another praise that all the husbands are back and it feels like a new season/kickoff as a group because of that.”
A new member’s response to our prayer list: “Wow, amen to all of those beautiful prayers. I will be praying for you all, I hope that you all have a beautiful day/Halloween and stay safe! God bless each and every one of you. Very happy to have had the chance to become a part of such a awesome small group.”
“Our group raked five yards for our service project this fall. It was a blast for everyone, and the number of new conversations with neighbors that prompted was unlike anything I’ve seen in from one project.”
“One member came to the church due to the flyer that the church sent out and has felt welcomed. He is a recovering from some life circumstances and has many questions about Jesus.”
The Snyder’s group Christmas Party
Overstreet Group Tree Farm Field Trip and Christmas Party
Nobles/Kern Christmas PartyPinneo Group Christmas Decorating
New Leader Goals
A national survey of thousands of church small group leaders revealed that fewer than 1/3 had ever set any kind of goal for their group. That demonstrates a concerning lack of intentional leadership. In response, Lake City Small Group leaders were asked to set 1-3 goals for their semester – things they believe God would like to see happen under their leadership.
Below are several examples of what our leaders identified as goals this fall, in addition to the standard duties of small group leading.
Do more outreach outside of the church family, and see members grow spiritually.
Develop new group activity outside of normal meeting time.
Inspire our group to share Jesus with others and not keep it bottled up in our small group.
Identify potential leaders, and give them at least one opportunity to lead the group.
Continue at least two outreach ministries that we can do outside of the group.
Distribute the work of leadership to a core team.
Transition leadership effectively.
Work a Habitat for Humanity project in Tillicum.
To assess where each member is in their walk with Christ and what each needs to reach the next stage.
To serve food at the Tacoma Rescue Mission, with celebration dinner at conclusion.
To develop a prayer plan during the second half of this semester that allows more time for group prayer.
For our members to reach out and use what they are learning to witness to those around them.
To equip members to take ownership of their own spiritual growth.
To see more individuals serving within the group.
Get at least one service project completed, and have at least 1 fun filled event. I.E. Game night, Movie night, bowling.
New Roles and Ways Group Members Have Gotten Involved
Our leaders are also devoted to training their members towards serving God with their own unique gifts and abilities. As 1 Peter 4:10 instructs, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”
Following are several new roles our leaders excitedly reported their members taking this fall:
- LoveOps (mission project) Leader
- Worship Leader
- Food Coordinator
- Social Coordinator
- Rotate host homes
- Rotate Scripture readers
- Men’s/Women’s Breakout leaders
- Guitar player
- Became Co-leader
- Sharing discussion facilitating, new person leads each week
- Leading a service project with Young Life
- Everyone shared their testimonies
- Everyone contributes food every week
- New assistant leader
- Prayer request coordinator
- Coordinates correspondence with our missionaries
May God continue to grow us all in our desire and ability to make disciples who make disciples, in 2018 and far beyond.
Important Upcoming 2018 Dates
As you can see, God blessed our church communities this fall. We are breaking for a greatly anticipated Christmas celebration, but people are wondering… what is coming ahead in the New Year?
Put these on your calendars right now!
- Saturday/Sunday, December 30/31 – Small Group Signups begin (small group listings at foyer table, in worship services, and church website)
- Sunday, January 7 – *Small Group Leader Training/Vision Session, 11:30AM – 1:15PM, Upper Gym, with lunch (NOTE: There is a makeup session the next week if you CANNOT attend this.)
- January 14–20 – Official SG Kickoff Week!
- Sunday, January 14 – *Small Group Leader Training Makeup Session, 11:30AM – 12:40PM, snacks but no lunch.
- Saturday, February 3 – LCCC Membership Class
*Our small group leader trainings are not exclusively for returning small group leaders. Anyone interested in any type of church leadership is welcome.
Watch for more information regarding the January training sessions, and the preliminary work involved with them.
Praising God for the success He granted in 2017. Expecting great things in 2018,